Saturday, February 11, 2012

A great resource for those interested in the Anabaptists and Anabaptism

Southwestern Seminary put on a conference last month on the topic of contemporary Baptists and the legacy of Anabaptism, Anabaptism and Contemporary Baptists. The conference featured several well known academics and pastors, including Rick Warren (who is not the first person I think of when I think about Anabaptism), Malcom Yarnell and Paige Patterson. I have been hoping that the audio would be made available and it finally has!

There are two different streams in the contemporary Baptist world, one that looks back to the magisterial Reformers for inspiration even though many of them persecuted the forerunners of modern Baptists and put to death those who practiced credobaptism. This group tends to be the Calvinist wing that finds more in common with Calvin and Zwingli based on soteriology  than with many current and past Baptists and Anabaptists. The other stream finds more in common with the Anabaptists although their church practices don't seem to look all that much like what we know of Anabaptist ecclesiology. This stream tends to be Arminian in doctrine as opposed to Calvinistic in the Particular Baptist mold. The conference at SWBTS focuses more on the latter stream. I find myself outside of both camps, holding to a Particular Baptist/Calvinistic soteriology but looking also to the Anabaptists for a vision of radical discipleship, community and a more primitive and biblical form of the church. Not being locked into either camp I find that I can cherry pick from both!

You can download talks like "The Impact of Erasmus on Luther and the Anabaptists", "Wounds that Heal: The Importance of Church Discipline within Balthasar Hubmaier's Theology" and even one from someone I sort of know through Alan Knox, Dr. Mael Disseau, speaking on the topic "Italian Anabaptism: Was There Ever Such a Thing?". Frankly I didn't know there were any Italian Anabaptists so that should be an interesting talk! I have already downloaded the whole set and look forward to listening to them (don't tell any of my Calvinist friends that I have talk from Rick Warren and Paige Patterson on my computer!) and if you are interested in the Anabaptists this would be a great and free resource to download and study.


Zach said...

Thanks for finding and sharing this resource. Quick background: I grew up Pentecostal Free Will Baptist, went non-denom, then Charismatic, then non-denom/ reformed/ Acts29, then free-believer/no church. Now I am Lutheran. Confessional/ gnesio/ lutheran Lutheran. All that being said, I can't wait til this side of eternity is done. Starting to feel a bit schizophrenic :)

In regards to this issue of anabaptism, I identify with the paedo-baptism side of the debate for various reasons, but no need to get into that.

But I LOVE history, I love learning about Church history, and all those that came before us. Christianity didn't begin a 100 years ago, much less decades ago, as many seem to believe. So I thoroughly enjoy reading about others in the Church throughout its entire history, and what they believed, and why they believed it. It is extremely edifying...

So again.. while I am not necessarily sure I will land on the side of Dr. Patterson and others in this conference, I am looking forward to listening to many of these lectures and gaining insight into those that are a part of the communion of saints.

Thanks again for passing these along!

Your brother in Christ...

Arthur Sido said...

Thanks Zach, a lot of us are feeling sort of mixed up and schizophrenic. Try being a Reformed Anabaptist!